November 27, 2023 at 12:23 pm

Company Limits Their Daily Meal Expenses, So They Decided To Feed The Homeless Instead

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA/Unsplash/@louishansel

Per diems on the job can lead to a lot of complications.

You’d think it would be a cut-and-dry business, but for some reason, some companies make things harder than they need to be.

And that’s what happened to the person who wrote this story on Reddit’s “Malicious Compliance” page.

Check out what they had to say.

Want to limit my food expenses to a limit – I will make sure I hit the limit every day.

“So I am a business consultant, and usually during the week we are at client site and get paid for travel, meals etc.

The meal policies for job were flexible.

The meal reimbursement policy is quite flexible, and doesn’t limit what we can claim, like some of the other consulting companies. So we can claim lunch, alcohol, whatever. The policy, however, does lay down a GUIDANCE for a daily limit for food expenses, based on the country where you’re travelling.

I capitalised the word GUIDANCE, since that is exactly how it is written in the policy – it is a guidance, not a hard limit. For the UK, where my current project is, the limit is £40 per day, which is mostly ok, but can be a bit low if you’re in the centre of London for example.

But some days, they don’t eat all three meals.

Now I do Intermittent Fasting, so most of the days I don’t have breakfast and lunch, and just have one big meal a day, and have no problems keeping to the £40 (usually around £20). On some days, I might go to a fancy restaurant, have a couple of scotches with a steak, and run up a $60 bill. But during the course of a 5 day week, my average meals would run about £30 a day, if not less.

Things seemed to be working just fine…until a new manager stepped in.

I’ve never had a problem claiming these expenses in my 9 years with the firm, but recently a new project manager (read bean counter) came on board, and he sent back a couple of my expense reports for having meal expenses in excess of the £40 for a couple of days, even though the average meal expense over the week was much less than £40.

I tried to reason with him, told him that anyway it was a guidance and not a hard limit, and I was keeping the costs down on other days, he refused to budge and said I could only claim £40 a day for food.

Well, all you can do is follow the rules!

So guess what, I started doing exactly that. Every day, I made sure I was claiming £40 or thereabouts for food. I started buying meals for the homeless people around the train station to make sure I could make up the £40.

So now, where I was claiming less than £150 a week for meals, I now claim £200 and get some good karma for it.”

Let’s see what Reddit users had to say about this.

This person was a fan of the meal policy at a former job.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual said it best…

Source: Reddit/AITA

This Reddit user got in trouble for something like this in the past.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And one person would have taken a different approach.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Now, that’s the way to do it!

Is this a feel-good story, or what?!?!